Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Our Preservation Goals

The Tod Engine Foundation's project to preserve the Bethlehem blowing engines are guided by a specific set of goals.

The enginehouse contains 12 engines in various states of repair. The building is roughly divided into four sections. The easternmost section is the spare parts room. This area has a seperate overhead crane and would be best suited as a future restoration shop for the equipment collections of the NMIH.

The second section from columns 3 to 13 contains engines 2 thru 7. These are all tandem double acting engines. We intend to largely leave this portion of the building as is, stabilizing the engines but not performing any restoration work here.

From columns 13 to 24 contain engines 10, 11 and twin tandem double acting engine 14. This area also encompasses two large open areas where engines 8,9 and 12,13 were located. This portion of the building will be restored to a 1950s appearance. This means that the engines will be repainted, floors kept cleaned and the area will generally appear as it did during that time period.

From columns 24 to 29, the end of the building, contains engines 15,16,17. These are twin tandem double acting engines. This area will also be left largely as is, with stabilization efforts taken on the engines only.

Our plans for engines, 10, 11, 14 are as follows:

Engine 10- Reassemble engine performing mechanical overhaul as neccessary and cosmetic restoration. Install piston rods sans pistons and retrofit an electric motor drive. Design and install an automatic pressurized lube oil system. The goal here is to make this engine operable by push button by tour guides during enginehouse tours.

Engine 11- Perform complete mechanical and cosmetic restoration with a goal of eventual gas operation. This engine will also be fitted with electric drive, to be used for display operation and as a starting motor.

Engine 14- Perform complete cosmetic restoration for static display.

It is the Tod Engine Foundation's intention to continue on in our role as the caretakers of the Bethlehem engines for the forseeable future, working under the direction of the National Museum of Industrial History. The blowing enginehouse is planned to become a stop on a proposed iron and steelmaking tour to be offered by the NMIH to be offered in the future.

There are also several issues concerning the long term maintenance and care of the blowing enginehouse itself which will be addressed by the Tod Engine Foundation, NMIH and the building owners.

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